Posted by Patrick on January 24, 2005 at 15:55:20:
Careful consideration of the weather decided us on a Sunday jaunt. So, 07:00 found us launching out of MDR and being greeted by if not sunny, just lightly fogged skies and glassy seas with a swell of long duration. We headed south for Redondo Canyon and the Rocky Point playgrounds. Just beyond Manhattan, conditions changed. We encountered veils of fog, with visibility ranging from perhaps a half-mile to just a few hundred feet. Running on radar, with the horn sounded per the Rules of the Road, we arrived at or area near the canyon and began fathometer sweeps for our spot. An hours worth of looking with no joy to be had, we gave it up for another day and headed for some parallel reefs closer to Rocky Point that had been happy hunting grounds for Panulirus interruptus on past trips. Water conditions were acceptable; temperature was 55 degrees on the bottom and 57 on the surface. Visibility was a dim, hazy 15 to 25 feet depending on the makeup of the bottom. There was some success as several bugs were found, and invited home to dinner.
Next jump was on the venerable Avalon. Conditions, visibility-wise, were perhaps a bit better than the previous jump. Toured the crane and marveled at the immense schools of rubber-lip perch swarming above and around the highest points on the structure.
Played with my Oly C-4000, and am finally getting the hang of the required adjustments for shooting available light with it. Given the low ambient light, no strobes and reduced viz, the results are amazing to me. But I do tend to be easily amazed.
Given the paucity of bugs, it was decided to run north to some previously productive reefs up Santa Monica way. BIG MISTAKE. Visibility at 70 feet at the north end of the bay was a dark, depressing one to two feet. We called the day, and ran back to del Rey on radar in dense fog. Of course, as soon as we cleared the Coast Guard dock, the sun came out bright with blue skies. Still, that wouldn’t have made much difference with the visibility.
Carne asada tacos with eye-watering, nose-running salsa, and fried zucchini sticks with a little ranch dressing on the way home. All in all another awesome diving day on the coast.
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